As the NCAA tournament moves into the Round of 32, the Kansas State Wildcats will face off against the Kentucky Wildcats in a showdown of two top-tier schools.
Kansas State enters the matchup with an impressive 24-8 record and a strong Big 12 pedigree. The Wildcats have been led by a trio of talented seniors, Barry Brown Jr., Dean Wade, and Kamau Stokes, who have combined to average over 30 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. Kansas State’s defensive intensity has also been a major factor in their success, as they have allowed an average of just 62.5 points per game, good for third-best in the Big 12.
Meanwhile, Kentucky has put together a solid 22-10 record and is looking to make a deep tournament run. The Wildcats are paced by the play of freshman sensation Ashton Hagans, who has been a force on both ends of the court, averaging 11 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. Hagans has been complemented by fellow freshman Keldon Johnson, who has put up 14.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
The two teams have not met this season, as Kansas State has been playing in the Big 12 while Kentucky has been competing in the SEC. However, both squads have been tested by strong competition in their respective conferences and have the talent to make a deep run in the tournament.
The outcome of this game will likely come down to which team’s star players can make the biggest impact. Kansas State will need their seniors to continue their strong play, while Kentucky will be looking to their freshman phenoms to lead the way. Whichever team can impose their will in this matchup will be in great position to advance further in the tournament.